Visiting the natural side of the Algarve – flowers, butterflies and small animals

Dragonfly, ©Bahman Farzad/Flickr

Dragonfly, ©Bahman Farzad/Flickr

To all those who love nature the Algarve region has lots to offer for it is rich in unique and common plants, trees and flowers and also it is home to several animal species. Go for an adventure and discover the woodlands, mountains and valleys. Visit during the spring season when everything comes to life, the greenery starts to grow again, spread all over the land and wild flowers color the landscape of southern Portugal.Take your binoculars and magnifying glass with you and explore the secrets and beauties of nature. You don’t need many supplies, just take your backpack and observation skills and you’re all set.

Flowers and butterflies

As the first days of the year go by yellow bermuda buttercups start to grow on the fields and the naked cliffs covering them as a carpet. At the same time appears along the paths the sweet alison with its white petals.

Bermuda Buttercup, ©Dare*2*Dream/Flickr

Bermuda Buttercup, ©Dare*2*Dream/Flickr

All these delicate flowers are followed by the pink colored stork bills and the barbary nuts of purple color. By the end of February the mimosas join in as well and in March the yellow hottentot figs, narrow-leaved lupins, yellow seas asters, purple vipers and large blue alkanets appear as well. As spring comes to an end the giant fennels are already flourishing lively on the cliff tops completing the rainbow-colored scenery. As the flowers bloom the butterflies come out of their cocoon and flap their beautiful wings in the spring air.

Butterfly, ©diasparmrb/Flickr

Butterfly, ©diasparmrb/Flickr

Watch the swallowtails and marbled whites as they freely shear through the green fields and fly from flower to flower.

Dragonflies, hedgehogs and wild cats

The Algarve is rich not only in colorful plants but it is also inhabited by many animal species as well. During the summer season there are all kinds of dragonflies flying around until the end of November.

Dragonfly, ©Bahman Farzad/Flickr

Dragonfly, ©Bahman Farzad/Flickr

Find the praying mantis hiding in the green bushes but you must keep your eyes wide open for they are creatures which blend in quite well. Among the common species appearing here and there you will see the cute little hedgehogs popping out from every other cliff. Geckos and lizards are also among the frequently spotted animals. And again if your observation skills are good enough you might be able to find a chameleon or two. The forests and wilderness is not only the home of peaceful animals. Watch out for the Iberian lynx, a wild cat, large at size and also endangered, for there are not many living specimen left.

Turtle, ©aprilandrandy/Flickr

Turtle, ©aprilandrandy/Flickr

As you cross the streams or rivers you might want to watch out for some turtles and otters and beware for water snakes.

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